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Many Wars Ago

Mark Frechette , Alain Cuny , Francesco Rosi    DVD

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Product Description

In Northern Italy, WWI has turned into a bloody stalemate. Bogged down in their trenches on a barren highland, the men of an Italian infantry division have been given one objective: retake a commanding height from the enemy. Unfortunately, the tactical ingenuity of General Leone, the unpopular division commander, consists of supplementing frontal attacks against machine-guns with medieval fighting schemes. His dispirited troops must be prodded with ever harsher measures into storming the Austrian positions. As casualties mount, indignation spreads amongst the rank and file. Disturbed by the decisions of his superiors, Lieutenant Sassu is progressively led to question the purpose of the war and to reconsider where his real duties lie.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest war film ever made? Sept. 11 2012
By nayland_smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Alongside "Come and See", Richardson's "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Japan's Longest Day", and "The Big Red One", this would be on my shortlist for the greatest war film of all time.

Bears some similarities to Kubrick's "Paths of Glory", but Rosi's film (and I don't say this lightly) is much better. Rosi casts light both on universal military fault-lines and an intrigingly lesser known theatre of WWI, the Italian Alps in 1916.

There are several unforgettable scenes, including one where troops in plate armour attempt to storm the Austro-Hungarian positions. They look like Tin Man from "The Wizard of Oz", but the Italians did actually experiment with this "Farina" body armour.

Piero Piccioni provides an appropriately doom-laden score, and Rosi gets committed performances from his international cast of actors. One imagines that Gian Maria Volonte was particularly chuffed with the awakening Marxism of his character!

Now where are the remastered versions of Rosi's great trilogy from the 1970s? "The Mattei Affair", "Lucky Luciano", and "Illustrious Corpses". Criterion box-set please!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WWI essential Dec 27 2013
By Jane Stivarius - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After being stunned by this film when it was presented on French TV, I have long waited for it to be available in a Region 1 DVD. Agreeing with Mr. Smith's previous comments, I would only add that this film and "La Grande Guerra" of Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi besides being spectacular films are essential because of their look at the Italian experience in WWI. Both owe much to Emilio Lussu's book "Un anno sull'altipiano" which, at last, will be published in 2014 in its English translation entitled "A Soldier on the Southern Front: The Classic Italian Memoir of World War I"
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 22 2014
By T. Landis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Excellent war movie.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It Aug. 25 2014
By Rob G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great war movie for people who like war movies and that heavy, early 70's, film vibe.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you speak Italian? July 29 2014
By Zhao Way - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I like this movie because the Italian soldiers speak the Italian language, Italian. A lot of movies don't do this.

You may say, "Oh they're just acting, therefore, so what???????" But think about how many wars are fought due to misunderstanding. People who feel only their tongues matter don't question what are the causes of war? This sort of arrogance is why G-d confounded our speach a long time ago.

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